Importance of Seatbelt Protection in an Accident

Buckling Up Can Save Lives

Car accidents can happen to anyone at anytime, causing severe or life-threatening injuries. One of the safest choices to make is to buckle up. Wearing a seatbelt is the most effective way to reduce the risk of injury or death in an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that seatbelts saved about 15,000 lives in the United States in 2017. These numbers demonstrate the importance of wearing a seatbelt when getting into a car.

The Importance of Wearing a Seatbelt

There are many reasons why wearing a seatbelt is essential. For one, it helps to keep you in place during a collision. You can be thrown forward or even ejected from the car without a seatbelt, leading to severe injury or death. Even at low speeds, the force of an impact can be strong enough to cause significant harm. Wearing a seatbelt can help to prevent this from happening.

Wearing a seatbelt can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. If you do end up in a crash, a seatbelt can help to distribute the force of the impact across your body, reducing the likelihood of serious injuries.

It’s not just the driver who should be wearing a seatbelt. All passengers should be buckled up, regardless of where they sit in the car. This includes children, who should be secured in a car seat or booster seat as appropriate. Buckle children in the right seat based on their size and age. All children 12 years or younger should ride in the back seat.

It’s also essential to ensure that seatbelts are correctly adjusted and fit snugly. A loose or improperly adjusted seatbelt can be almost as dangerous as not wearing one.

In addition to the safety benefits, there are legal reasons to wear a seatbelt. In California, wearing a seatbelt while driving or riding in a car is legally required. Failing to do so can result in fines or other penalties. But the real reason to wear a seatbelt is to protect yourself and your loved ones during a car accident.

What You Should Know About Buckling Up 

Understanding the potentially deadly consequences of not wearing a seatbelt is essential as learning how to ensure you and your family are correctly buckled up every time.

The consequences of not buckling up are clear:

  • It can result in being ejected from the vehicle in a collision, which is almost always fatal.
  • You could be thrown into an opening airbag, and the force of an airbag can cause serious or fatal injuries.

The benefits of wearing a seatbelt are just as clear:

  • Seatbelts are the best defense against aggressive, impaired, and distracted drivers.
  • Buckling up in the front seat of a passenger car can reduce your risk of severe injuries by 50 percent and death by 45 percent.
  • Wearing your seatbelt in a light truck or SUV can reduce your risk of injuries by 65 percent and death by 60 percent.

Guidelines to Buckle Up Safely

  • Put the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck.
  • The shoulder and lap belts are secured across your hips and rib cage.
  • The lap belt should rest across your pelvis, not your abdomen.
  • Don’t put the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.
  • Don’t put the lap belt on top or over your belly.
  • Adjust your seat to a comfortable, upright position.
  • Keep as much distance as possible between the steering wheel and your belly.
  • Don’t recline your seat more than necessary to minimize the gap between your seatbelt and shoulder.

Buckle Up in the Back Seat

It’s important to buckle up on every trip, including the back seat. In 2020, about 60 percent of backseat passengers killed in a traffic accident were not buckled.

To stay safe on the road, always buckle up in your own vehicle and in all forms of road transportation, including rideshares, taxis, or limousines.

Accidents can happen to anyone, and the consequences can be devastating. Wearing a seatbelt whenever you get into a car can save lives. So the next time you get into a vehicle, ensure you and all passengers are buckled up securely. It only takes a few seconds but it could make all the difference.

Watch the YouTube video to learn about the importance of wearing a seatbelt in the front and backseat of a car.

California Personal Injury Attorney

I’m Ed Smith, a California personal injury lawyer. Your seatbelt is essential to surviving a traffic accident. Make it a habit to buckle up whenever you get into a car. If you or a family member has been injured in an accident due to another’s negligence, our legal team can help you through this difficult time. Call our law firm at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

Since 1982, our injury attorneys at have successfully obtained maximum compensation for our clients.

See our past case results on our Verdicts and Settlements page.

Image by cfarnsworth from Pixabay

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